Wearing their faith keeps their identity: headcoverings worn out of religious respect

January 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


Dur-e-aden was apprehensive about wearing the hijab when she first moved to Canada two years ago; in Pakistan wearing the hijab was normal, but in Canada she stands out when walks down the street.

“It gives away my identity. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but I’m ok with that,” said Dur-edan. “People should know who I am, like I don’t want to hide it or anything.”

The Islamic religion requires a woman to dress modestly in loose clothing covering her body, except for her hands. The wearing of the hijab comes
from the Qu’aran, the Islamic religious text, which says that Muslims, not just Muslim women, should dress modestly.

“The main purpose of it is to like protect your chastity, so you’re not supposed to reveal to much,” said Dur-e-aden, who started wearing the hijab when she was 14.

Wearing the hijab doesn’t pose any problems for Dur-e-aden, who wears it everywhere she goes. She even has a hijab designed for playing sports.
Dur-e-aden isn’t unique. Whether you’re wandering down Main Street or hanging out downtown, one of the most visible indication that Vancouver is a multicultural city is many people wear some form of head covering.

The Muslim population in B.C. is approximately 56,000, making it the third-largest such population in Canada after Ontario and Quebec, according to Statistics Canada.

B.C. also has a large Sikh population. The 2001 census reported there are 125,000 Sikhs living in B.C., many living in Surrey and East Vancouver.
According to Pritam Singh Aulakh, president of the Akali Singh Society, Sikhism became prominent in the 15th century, and men began to wear the turban because it was considered unnatural and unreligious to cut the hair from any part of the body. Sikhs would wear a turban to keep their uncut hair neat and tidy.

Sumanpal Singh, a student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University said that those who choose not to wear the turban are not really Sikhs.
“Wearing the turban is doing Gods will,” said Singh.

Aulakh said that if you are living your life in the way of God but choose to not wear the turban, you are still Sikh.
“Believing in God in Sikhism is doing good things…don’t tell lies, work for a living and share with others, and be truthful,” said Aulakh. “So if you are not practicing these things, then you are not Sikh.”

In Sikhism and Islam, the head coverings are gender-specific. In Judaism, men and women can wear a head covering called the yarmulka or kippah.
The yarmulka and the kippah are the same thing, but, said Rabbi Infeld of the Beth Israel Synagogue, “yarmulka” is Yiddish, from a dialect of Hebrew that grew out of German. The word “kippah” is Hebrew.

A kippah is a small round hat that sits on the back of the head and, according to Infeld, is worn as a sign of respect to God and to all people.
Many Jews don’t wear the kippah all the time, many wear it only when praying and eating.

“I personally keep my head covered at all time,” said Infeld. “People who are more observant of Jewish law tend to do that.”

To Infeld, a Jew does not have to where a kippah to be faithful.

The Jewish population is small in B.C. with only 21,000 Jews. The Jewish community in Vancouver is concentrated around Oak Stre

Beer for bus fare: cheapest drinks in town

January 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s mid-semester and mid-terms are closing in, your school savings may be disappearing and you might be feeling the need to blow off some steam.

Spending $10 on a cocktail at Lux on Granville may not be some-thing you want to do, but you can still have a rocking night out and not wake up in the morning wondering where your money went.

The first thing you need to know about having a bevvy on a budget is that beer is the cheapest drink on the menu, so if you’re into the $8 martinis at Cactus Club you’re going to have to make some sacrifices.

A survey of 15 different places in Vancouver revealed that most places charge about $5 a beer before taxes, which are 10 per cent on liquor. Two beers will cost you $10 to $11 on average, and don’t forget to tip your bartender or server.

The standard for tipping, according to Lonely Planet Canada, is 15 per cent on the bill before tax, but if the service is excellent, 20 per cent is recommended.

The important thing to know is when the good drink specials are on and plan around them. Check out the Tuesday-night $7.50 pitchers at Whineos on Granville Street. The cozy wine-cellar atmosphere attracts the mid-20’s to 30s crowd and the pitchers of beer only come out on Tuesdays.

Any other night you pay by the bottle, which will set you back $5.75 each.

Hungry? Order a burger at any Vera’s Burger Shack and add a Granville Island Honey Lager for $3 any night. If you wait until Wednesday, you can get two beers and Vera’s massive burger for $9.95; go on a Friday and get two beers for $6.
Any given Tuesday you can hit up The Cambie in Gastown for $7 pitchers, which give you about four glasses of beer, depending on the size of the glass.

You can also grab a pint there on Mondays for $3.50 and any other night you won’t pay more then $4.50 for a beer. The Cambie is underneath a hostel and has a lot of character, with its old glass windows and big communal picnic tables.
It’s most unique feature is the picket fence that runs up the centre of the bar. Half of the bar has a restaurant license and the other half has a pub license, which means you can’t cross over the picket fence.

The clientele is mixed, and you may be sharing a table with someone from Europe, a UBC student or a local Gastown resident.

Richard Saunders, the manager of The Cambie, said he knows that the cheap drinks are what attracts people, but said that it’s the relaxed vibe that keeps them coming. “There’s just no pretentiousness here,” said Saunders.

Bars like The Cambie may have a laid-back vibe, but if you don’t want to share your table with a stranger and just want a beer at a nice place and are willing to pay a little more, you can get pints at the Yaletown Brew Pub on Sunday nights for $4.50.

The pub serves comfort food including meat loaf, schnitzel and pizzas, which you can get on Sundays for $8.

But be warned, any other night a pint will run you $6.50 and if you decide to change your beverage to some wine, it can cost you up to $11 per glass before tax.

Emerging from the shadow of divorce: Today’s youth slower to marry than previous generations

January 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

UBC professor Barbara Mitchell says young people's desire to get married and stay with someone forever hasn't disappeared. (Abby Wiseman photo)

UBC professor Barbara Mitchell says young people's desire to get married and stay with someone forever hasn't disappeared. (Abby Wiseman photo)

In a 1979 article in the Globe and Mail called “Did the family unit become the casualty of the seventies?” a bleak picture of what divorce had done to society was painted.

“There were runaway wives and mothers; children were kidnapped by divorced parents who didn’t have custody; middle-aged men going through what psychologists termed the male menopause walked out on their wives of 20 or more years and took up with much younger women,” said the Globe and Mail.

The article described children of divorced parents as “latch-key kids” because they lived in high-rise apartment buildings without parents waiting for them after school.

Barbara Mitchell, a sociology professor at UBC said she feels that the image of divorced families in the past wasn’t fair.

“A lot of these children were regarded as different. I think there was this stereotype that divorce would lead to all kinds of problems with children and family dysfunction, and kids would grow up to be delinquent criminals and have a lot of these psychological problems,” said Mitchell, who has studied family relations for 20 years.

Thirty years after the Globe and Mail article was written, being a kid of divorce is, for many, just being a part of the club.

Erica Bauer was 15 years old when her parents split up and she joined most of her friends who had already been through a family break-up.

“When I was in elementary school, most of my friends’ parents were getting divorced then and I was one of the only people who had parents together,” said Bauer, now 23 and living with her boyfriend. “When they ended up getting divorced, I was just like everybody else.”

According to StatsCan, divorce hit its peak in 1987, around the time many generation Xers were kids and Ys were being born. In that year, according to StatsCan, there were 96,200 divorces. The laws for divorce were softened in 1985, when the Divorce Act was revised and anyone was allowed a divorce as long as they could prove they had lived apart for one year.

Divorce became an everyday occurrence, and with that the opportunity arose for generation X and Y to do what other generations couldn’t: break with tradition.

Instead of going from dating to marriage, many people started taking a middle-step by living together in a common-law relationship before marrying or choosing not to marry at all.

In 1991, according to StatsCan, there were 719,000 common-law couples in Canada, and in 2006 the number nearly doubled to 1,377,000.

“I don’t think that the institution of marriage is going away and the ideal of wanting to marry somebody for a lifetime, you know till death do us part … I think most young people still ideally want that,” said Mitchell, who sees co-habitating before marriage and common-law relationships as the way of the future.

The average age of marriage has gone from 24 for women and 27 for men in 1968, to 32 for women and 34 for men in 2005, reports StatsCan.

Colin Macdougall, 25, can’t envision himself getting married, but doesn’t write it off. Macdougall was 17 years-old when his parents divorced, something he says affects the way he thinks about marriage and relationships.

“I think it is probably right for some people, but I think it’s a little different in this day and age to get married,” said Macdougall. “People have different values and I think people are beginning to understand that they don’t need to be in marriages as much anymore.”

In 2005 there were were 71,000 divorces according to StatsCan. A 26 percent decrease that Mitchell feels can be attributed to generation
X and Y’s cautious attitude towards marriage, a trait which distinguishes them from their parents.

However, Mitchell said that even with all the precautions, marital instability is a common trait among those from divorced parents.

Quarantined down under

January 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


When Charlotte Stokes boarded the plane to go from Vancouver to Australia in August, she was amused by the people who wore masks to protect themselves from catching the H1N1 virus. It hadn’t occurred to her at that time that they were protecting themselves from her.

“I walked into the plane and there were all these people wearing masks, and I thought to myself what stupid over-reacting people,” said Stokes.

Stokes was going to Sydney to be a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. Two days after she arrived, she was quarantined in her mother’s house because she was suspected of carrying the H1N1 virus.

When the plane landed, Stokes was fatigued and achy, but assumed it was just the effects of a 20-hour flight, so she went to meet the bridal party for a dress fitting.

Soon after, the symptoms started getting worse.

“I saw all the bridal party and then the next morning I felt really sick. It felt like I had taken an aspirin on an empty stomach,” said Stokes.

She went to a clinic and told them that she had just arrived back from North America and they automatically assumed she had the H1N1 virus. Because test results would take about a week to process, she was quarantined at her mother’s house.

“Immediately if they thought you had the swine flu you weren’t allowed to leave the house for five days,” said Stokes, “so I went all the way to Australia to sit at home for five days.”

At first she did not believe she had the H1N1 virus because she didn’t have all the usual symptoms. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the symptoms of H1N1 are those of any other flu: fever, aches and pains, sore throat, coughing, diarrhoea and headaches.

Stokes said she did not experience the cold-like symptoms such as coughing and a sore throat, but certainly felt the other flu symptoms such as alternating chills and fever. She said she felt as if she was hungover from dehydration and had an intensely high fever.

To Stokes, who usually combated the flu by resting for a day and then heading back to work, the H1N1 virus was like the flu on steroids.

“I seriously have never felt so sick in my life,” she said. “I could not have left the house even if I wanted to. I couldn’t even get up to get a glass of water without a huge amount of effort.”

WHO makes clear that those with underlying health issues and weakened immune systems are the most vulnerable to H1N1 and will have more severe symptoms than a healthy person who catches the virus.

“I could see how if you already were really sick how this could put you over the edge,” Stokes said.

After the five days of quarantine, Stokes had another checkup and was given a clean bill of health. She found out a few days later that it was the H1N1 virus that had made her so ill.

None of the people in the wedding party contracted the virus and Stokes was able to be a part of the wedding, although she did have to deal with the stigma of being the “swine-flu girl.”

Despite concerns, children ‘safe as ever’

January 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The ways we keep children safe have changed from generation to generation, but nothing compares to the way today’s kids are monitored.

Events such as Richmond Centre Mall’s Halloween trick-or-treating for kids, which brought them off the street and into a supervised atmosphere to go store-to-store collecting candy, are becoming commonplace.

“I think events like mall trick-or-treating are crucial these days to making parents feel comfortable,” said Pamela Lau, a teacher at Small Talk Preschool in Vancouver. “It’s not like it used to be. Parents these days pay much closer attention to who’s watching their kids and even who’s watching the people watching their kids.”

As a result of increased fear of abduction, preschools and daycares have adopted many new security measures. According to Lau, all children at her school must be signed in and out by both their approved parental guardians and one of the teachers.

Even though people’s fears continue to rise, Statistics Canada num-bers show no substantial increase in the number of Canadian children abducted by strangers over a 10-year period from 1997 to 2007.

During those 10 years, the average number of missing children cases filed with the RCMP yearly was 63,896, with an annual average of only 42 of those being kidnappings by strangers. That number makes up less than 0.001 per cent of all missing-children cases filed during that time period.

“I truly believe children are just as safe as they ever have been, maybe safer,” said Susan Jones, an earlychildhood educator at a downtown Vancouver children’s centre. “With the increased attention facilities pay to children’s safety today compared with 20 years ago, it would be much more difficult for a child of this generation to be taken, period.”

Jones, who has worked in early childhood education for more than a decade, said she believes increased media coverage of every abduction, or even potential abduction, goes a long way to increasing concern.

In June, the RCMP warned Richmond parents that there was a potential kidnapping threat, and that the target was of elementary-school age and Asian descent. This warning was widely distributed through the media, even though the information the RCMP had obtained about the threat was minimal, according to a Vancouver Sun article.

“We completely understand it might instil fear in people but we want to get the message out to parents. I can’t see any other way this can be done,” Cpl. Jennifer Pound told the Sun.

The RCMP’s plan appears to have worked, because parents kept an even closer watch on their kids than usual, and there were not any kidnappings.

Every school in Vancouver has a school-liaison officer whose job it is to educate parents and students on dangers such as Internet luring and “stranger danger.”

“We are very proactive with the youth in Vancouver, and work very closely with the Vancouver School Board,” said Const. Lindsey Houghton, media relations officer with the VPD.

Twenty years ago, police techniques for finding missing children included putting their pictures on milk cartons. These days, authorities have many new programs in place to help in the search.

One relatively new tool police utilize in the recovery of abducted children is the Amber Alert Program. The program, which was first used in the United States, was introduced in Alberta in 2002 and was Canada-wide by the end of 2005. Since its inception, there have been 29 Canadian Amber Alerts activated, including four in the last year.

In order for an Amber Alert to be issued by the RCMP, the abduction must first meet the program’s four criteria. Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place, the abducted child must be under 17 years of age and be at risk of death or serious injury, and there must be a sufficient description of the child, the captor and the captor’s vehicle.

Amber is a acronym based on the U.S.-program name: America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. Amber Alerts in both Canada and the U.S. are distributed via radio stations, cable TV, e-mail and electronic traffic-condition signs.

Travel costs drop as fear grows

January 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Amidst H1N1 fears, travelers are still lining up at airports to take advantage of the available travel discounts. (Kirk Darbyshire photo)

Amidst H1N1 fears, travelers are still lining up at airports to take advantage of the available travel discounts. (Kirk Darbyshire photo)

Students looking for sun and sand on a budget may be in luck this winter, but they shouldn’t forget to wash their hands.

“Southern destinations are always popular over the holiday season. Even this year, with the H1N1 scare, ticket sales are still very strong,” said Kyko Purvis, a travel agent with Merlin Travel. “It has a lot to do with the great deals available.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada posted a level one advisory for travel globally because of the H1N1 flu, but has not specifically listed any country as an area of higher risk. The level one advisory is the lowest of three issued by the organization.

As a result of the H1N1 virus outbreak, most airlines, hotels and travel agents have sweetened their deals in an attempt to cash in on the lucrative holiday travel season. Room upgrades, seat upgrades, travel vouchers that cover the cost of your airfare when you book for a week-long stay at a resort, and transfers that will get you from the airport to your hotel for free are all perks being offered for those who are willing to ignore the travel advisories.

“People are weighing the risks to their health against the savings in their pocket-books,” said Purvis, “and booking their tickets, for most, is an easy choice.”

Dr. Sarah Thrasher, of the Travel Medicine and Vaccination Centre, has seen an increase in people inquiring about the safety of travel to many destinations.
“I’ve been advising people the risk of travelling this year is relatively
no different then that of previous years,” said Thrasher.

Regular hand washing, using hand sanitizers, avoiding people with signs of respiratory illness and being vaccinated – once the vaccine is available to Canadians – are all ways of protecting yourself against H1N1 infection, said Thrasher. Canada has just over 50 million doses of the vaccine on order, and they should be available in early to mid-November. That’s enough for everyone in Canada who wants one to be vaccinated.

“H1N1 causes relatively moderate symptoms in those infected, so people don’t need to feel afraid to travel,” said Thrasher.

A tough road for Kenny: In the face of adversity, he doesn’t see his disability as a challenge

January 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Ken Gabour goes through his regular workout at Richmond's Water Mainia training facility where, he works out four days a week.

Ken Gabour goes through his regular workout at Richmond's Water Mainia training facility where, he works out four days a week. (Kirk Darbyshire photo)

Ken Gabour grimaces slightly as he lifts the dumbbell at Richmond’s Water Mania training facility. He then curls it up to his chest just as he’s done time and time again during his 20-year athletic career.

The winner of more than 30 B.C. Special Olympic medals has competed in nearly every sport, reaching the pinnacle in figure skating in 1996 by winning the World Special Olympic gold medal. Listening to Gabour tell the story, you’ll never hear the word special, just Olympic.

Gabour was born with Down Syndrome, Sept. 3, 1972 in Vancouver General Hospital. Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome, resulting in a flat face and mental retardation.
He was also born partially deaf and with a hole in his heart that may have required open-heart surgery to fix. By the time he turned one, the hole had grown over and his life – growing up in a typical suburban Richmond family – could begin.

“Ken has never seen himself as different,” said Gabour’s mother, Dorothy, “and to tell you the truth, he doesn’t even like to hang out with other handicapped people.”

What he does like to do is work out, hang out with friends and family, volunteer with many community programs, play all types of sports. And work at his long-time job with McDonald’s.

Gabour lives a full and rewarding life with his mother in a basement suite in Richmond, but it wasn’t always so easy. There was very little help for B.C. parents of children with developmental delays prior to the establishment of the Infant Development Program in 1972.

“We were really lucky,” Gabour’s mother said. “When Ken was born, it was obvious he was going to be delayed, and we were fortunate enough to have great timing. Ken was the first baby accepted into the province’s new Infant Development Program.”

Mark Walsner has turned his job as a one-to-one life skills worker into a life-long friendship with Ken Gabour. (Kirk Darbyshire photo)

Mark Walsner has turned his job as a one-to-one life skills worker into a life-long friendship with Ken Gabour. (Kirk Darbyshire photo)

Dorothy credits the program with allowing Ken to integrate into the community successfully and progress through elementary school without falling behind. During his time with the IDP, he improved his speech, coordination, and muscle strength, ensuring he would be ready to attend school with other kids his age. The program helps children up to the age of three, who have – or are at risk of having – developmental delays due to biological or psychological issues. Since Gabour was accepted, and helped by the IDP, the program has helped more than 65,000 children in the province. About 61 B.C. children with Down Syndrome are referred to the program every year.

Gabour’s elder sister Colleen Wright smirks slightly as she recalls growing up with him. It was not easy. “It was hard growing up with him,” Wright said. “Despite his disability, he was always the one who accomplished everything and had everyone’s attention. As simply Ken’s older sister, I just kind of got pushed to the side a lot.”

Gabour graduated from Richmond Senior Secondary School in 1990 before going to Kwantlen College for two years, graduating with a diploma from the restaurant-services program. He turned that diploma into a career that he wouldn’t change for the world. Since graduating from Kwantlen, Gabour has worked at McDonald’s, performing various duties from cooking to cleaning, and assisting customer-service representatives with the taking and filling of orders.

When he’s not working, Gabour can be found training for or competing in one of the many sports he enjoys. He has won medals in both the British Columbia Special Olympics and World Special Olympics in many sports, including floor hockey, swimming, cross-country skiing, softball. The sport he excelled at more than any other is figure skating.

“At an early age Ken set goals for himself, and when he puts his mind to something he wants, there is nothing that can hold him back,” said his mother. “I remember one time when he had won a bronze medal in swimming and he just refused to take it. He had become so used to winning gold that anything less just wasn’t good enough.”

Ken’s mom, who lost her husband to lung cancer 16 years ago, credits one of the only remaining male influences in his life for much of his success.

Mark Walsner is a one-to-one life-skills worker with the Mainstream Association for Proactive Community Living, and has worked with Gabour for 17 years. He specializes in assisting people with mental handicaps to better understand the community they live in and feel more comfortable with their day-to-day activities.

“We work together to try to reach goals that Ken has set out for himself,” said Walsner, who spends 12 hours a week working closely with him. They do many activities together, such as going to the gym, swimming, watching movies and going to the beach in the summer.

“Over the time I’ve worked with Ken the biggest change I’ve seen in him is in the way he carries himself,” said Walsner. “The increase in his self-confidence and self-esteem is what has allowed him to get to where he is today, and accomplish all the things he has both in sport and life.”

Walsner’s work has turned into friendship. He and his girlfriend now regularly attend gatherings with Gabour and his family.

Most people with Down Syndrome will never live alone. If something were to happen to Gabour’s mother, he would live in a government-funded group home or with another family member. His sister said she is more than willing to take him in, if that time should come.

“The hardest thing for Ken is change,” said his mother. “He really doesn’t adapt well when things in his life are different then he’s used to.”

His sister lives in Richmond, so the community that he has spent his entire life growing up in is most likely where he will spend the rest of his life.

“I like Richmond,” said Gabour. “I got my workout, I got my work, and my mom is here.”

That’s his world.

Homeless find refuge in Surrey suburbs

January 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Every night, in the parking lot of a low-rise Whalley building off King George Highway, dozens of workers distribute food and clothing to the homeless at the home base of NightShift Ministries.

Located at 10759 135 St., the outreach program serves the home- less 364 nights a year, providing hot meals, blankets and clothing for the cold and wet with the help of nearly 40 churches.

“We provide for those that don’t have a nourishing meal, that don’t have a fixed address,” said MaryAnne Connor, who founded NightShift in January 2004.

As well as NightShift Ministries, Connor runs a thrift store, located next door, called Sister’s Marketplace, and just down the street is the Surrey Food Bank. She said that residents are quite giving to the homeless and have helped her ministry over the years.

“Ninety-five per cent of our people are volunteers,” she said. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without the generosity of the community.”

Dane Watson of Peace Portal Alliance Church gets to see NightShift make a difference first-hand. He leads a group of Peace Portal volunteers two Saturdays a month, and on those nights, he’s always moved by the people he meets as they come in off the streets.

He recalled a night last fall when he was working in the clothing truck and a man asked for a button-up dress shirt. When he found one, the man’s eyes lit up and he showed much gratitude to Watson.

“He said to me, ‘Bless you, sir. You’ve now made it possible for me to go out tomorrow for a job interview,’” Watson said.

Watson said he knows that other volunteers have had similar experiences, and though some are initially apprehensive about meeting the homeless, he assures them it’s safe and controlled by the ministry.

“In the year and a half that I’ve been doing it, I think I had to call 9-1-1 twice,” said Watson, who acknowledged incidents have happened, but the ministry deals with them and moves on.

Homelessness is less visible here than it is in Vancouver, and compared to the Downtown Eastside, Connor said it’s harder to notice the homeless because Surrey is more geographically spread out.

“It depends on the time of night,” she said. “We serve between 100 and 150 people every night.”

A 2008 report by the Tyee counted 2,592 homeless people in Metro Vancouver, 402 of whom were in Surrey.

“Anyone telling me there’s 400, that’s the actual number of homeless, I would definitely beg to differ,” said Peter Fedos, program manager of Hyland House in Surrey. “If I count just between the three shelters in the area, there’s close to 2,000 different individuals that are seen every year, and I’m turning away 500 per month ’cause I’m full.”

Homelessness in Surrey suburbs such as Fleetwood, Newton and Guildford is hard for local shelters to handle. All of the 35 beds at Hyland’s Surrey location (6595 King George Hwy.) and the 10 beds at the Cloverdale location (17910 Cole- brook Rd.) are full every night.

“Everyone has a different situation that caused them to become homeless,” said Andrea Dodd, assistant program manager of the Cloverdale Hyland House. “Whether it’s mental health, addiction, losing their job, having no support system…. It’s not all just one group or one stereotype of homeless.”

Fedos added that the only thing in common these people have is that they’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”

“A homeless person told me, ‘Don’t confuse someone being homeless with street people,’” said Fedos, who clarified that “street-entrenched” people choose to live on the street and have trouble getting out of the lifestyle.

The street-entrenched are familiar with the street and prefer to be there, according to Fedos.

The flat-screen rock ‘n’ roll revival

January 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Alto sax student Laurence Cain, 18, watches guitar student Kyle Poehlke, 21, plays "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton on a vintage Fisher Price toy piano. (Jacob Zinn photo)

Alto sax student Laurence Cain, 18, watches guitar student Kyle Poehlke, 21, plays "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton on a vintage Fisher Price toy piano. (Jacob Zinn photo)

Parents who remember hearing bands such as the Rolling Stones for the first time when they were kids are now showing their kids these artists for that same experience.

“[My dad] sits in his room, rockin’ out to all that stuff,” said Blake Gervais, 18, a first-year saxophonist in Kwantlen’s music program. “You’re exposed to it ’cause your parents listen to it.”

Gillian White, 18, also a first year saxophonist, added that her parents have control of the radio in the car. “Most of the time, it’s better than the new stuff. They don’t have to fix their voices or anything when they record.”

According to Nielsen SoundScan’s 2008 top-10 list, AC/DC was the second-best selling artist in the United States that year with 3.42 million albums sold. Of those albums, 1.92 million were the band’s 2008 release, Black Ice.

AC/DC, whose members are now aged 54 to 62, released their first album in 1975.

In 2007, the Eagles were the third-best selling artist with 3.6 million albums sold, of which 2.6 million were their 2007 album, Long Road out of Eden, the band’s first album since 1979.

The Eagles, whose members are aged 61 to 62, released their first album in 1972.

In both 2007 and 2008, the rest of the musicians on those top-10 lists were modern artists with high rotation on radio.

Joey Moore, a sociology professor at Vancouver Island University, explained why older music appeals to younger people.

Moore said that some parents force their children to listen to the groups they grew up with, and some teens like the music their parents listened to.

“It’s music their parents pissed off their parents with and they can do the same thing by playing it really loud,” said Moore.

Rebellion through music is associated with youth, and has been for many generations, but Kwantlen guitar teacher Don Hlus said that’s less true today.

“Parents for the most part want to nurture an interest in music, especially in music that the parents understand,” Hlus said. “There’s always these generational gaps and the fact that those are being bridged I think is quite appealing.”

The use of music in video games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero has also introduced new audiences to older music.

Natascia Dell’erba, 18, a first-year vocalist, said she is surprised to hear her eight-year-old sister singing the Doors and Jimi Hendrix songs featured in these video games.

By releasing games on consoles offered by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, game design companies aim to reach a larger market of gamers than if the games were released on one console.

“You have every single side of the video-game world covered,” said Jessica McLaughlin, 18, a first-year saxophonist.

Sales of the 1974 single “Same Old Song and Dance” by Aerosmith increased 400 per cent with the release of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock in the 2007 Christmas season, according to an MSNBC article.

“Many artists are very shrewd businessmen,” said Hlus. “They’re going, ‘Hey, this is a generation that doesn’t know our music,’ and they feel there is a universal appeal that’s kind of timeless.’

This music has become a common interest not only between youth and parents, but among youth in different social circles. Moore said that despite differing musical tastes, teens in all cliques tend to enjoy ’60s and ’70s bands.

With the re-emergence of older bands in video games, biographic films and reunion tours, today’s musicians don’t put as much effort into their music.

“[There used to be] more of a focus on the musical ability of the artists rather than how good you look on stage and how much money you can throw at a recording studio,” said Gervais.

Music students interviewed also said that cover versions of old songs can’t match up to the original recordings they were based on.

Eats and entertainment on the cheap all over the Lower Mainland

January 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Finding good inexpensive meals isn’t as easy as reading the McDonald’s dollar menu, but there are restaurants in the Lower Mainland with live music and affordable entrées that won’t wallop your wallet.

The duo of Blue Voodoo, made up of Rick Dalgarno and Ted Tosoff, play at the Landing Pub & Grill in Ladner every Thursday night. (Jacob Zinn photo)

The duo of Blue Voodoo, made up of Rick Dalgarno and Ted Tosoff, play at the Landing Pub & Grill in Ladner every Thursday night. (Jacob Zinn photo)

The Cellar – 3611 West Broadway, Vancouver Price: 2/5; Service: 4/5; Food: 3/5; Atmosphere: 5/5; Music: 5/5.

The Cellar offers live jazz Tuesdays through Sundays. The music lineup changes, with some acts playing on a frequent basis. All acts include quality jazz musicians, such as Doug Towle, performing Oct. 29, and the Matthew Smith Quartet, performing Nov. 1.

The bar’s design is classy, with elegant paintings on maroon walls complementing the dark booths. The dim lighting sets the mood for a relaxing night of jazz and drinks. Depending on the day of the week, talking during performances is often discouraged, but the atmosphere on Tuesdays is more easygoing and quiet chatter is permitted.

The food is a bit pricey (appetizers such as edamame and yam fries start at $9), but according to staff, students do frequent the below-ground bar.

“A lot of UBC students come here,” said waitress Sarah Hawkins, adding that students tend to buy appetizers and alcohol.

There’s no cover charge on Tuesdays, but there is a $10 minimum charge for food or drinks. If you go with friends, you can share a plate of nachos for $14.56.

Carman J. Price and company play Oct. 25 and Zapata Negro, an AfroCuban jazz group, plays Oct. 28.

The Landing Pub & Grill – 5449 Ladner Trunk Rd., Ladner
Price: 4/5; Service: 3/5; Food: 4/5; Atmosphere: 3/5; Music: 4/5.

For a less expensive musical experience, the Landing Pub & Grill has a blues band and $3 off appetizers every Thursday night. With the discount, you can get bruschetta for $4.99 or steak bites for $6.49.

Rick Dalgarno and Ted Tosoff of Blue Voodoo pick their guitar strings every Thursday beneath multicoloured lights. They play original and cover songs for the audience, which they say is getting younger.
“College crowds seem to be catching on more to blues and how blues used to be,” said Dalgarno.

“The future of music anyways is the next generation,” added Tosoff.

At times, the music is hard to hear, but there’s plenty of seating to find a good view with better sound. The pub has two pool tables and free Wi-Fi.

Dishes such as fish tacos and potato skins are basic bar food, but surprisingly tasty. An order of three cheeseburger sliders, after taxes and with the $3 discount, totals at $6.29.

Dublin’s Crossing – 18789 Fraser Hwy., Surrey
Price: 2/5; Service: 3/5; Food: 4/5; Atmosphere: 4/5; Music: 4/5.

The Irish-themed Dublin’s Crossing pub in Surrey offers live music Tuesday through Sunday nights, and occasionally on Mondays.

On the first Monday of October, guitarist Jason Bonnell covered a blend of modern rock (“Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon), Top 40 (“Umbrella” by Rihanna) and bar favourites (“Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash).

There’s a lot of seating, including tables on a mezzanine. But the music tends to get stuck in the background while patrons socialize at the bar or eat dinner, hardly noticing the person on stage.

The service is a bit spotty, but the food at Dublin’s Crossing is better than average bar food. The best deal for Monday nights is 35cent chicken wings, which comes to $3.91 with taxes if you order the minimum of 10 wings.

Dublin’s Crossing also hosts Geoff Gibbons on Oct. 27, James Moore on Oct. 28 and the Pat Chessell Band on Oct. 30 and 31.

The Foggy Dew Irish Pub – 7331 Westminster Hwy., Richmond
Price: 4/5; Service: 3/5; Food: 4/5; Atmosphere: 4/5; Music: 3/5.

The Foggy Dew Irish Pub in Richmond has live rock and R&B on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 10 p.m.

Though the restaurant is small, it’s a comfortable place to dine out on a budget. You can share a basket of onion rings with friends for $5.59 after taxes.

Other menu items are moderately priced and of good quality; the priciest entree is a New York steak at $17.99. Hamburgers are a deal, priced from $8.99 to $11.99.

There’s something on the menu to fit everyone’s tastes, but the entertainment may not fit everyone’s musical tastes.

The bands and DJs change weekly, playing a variety of genres, but often sticking with modern hits and memorable songs.

There’s no entertainment on Halloween weekend, but DJ Jeff plays the following weekend and the Undercovers play Nov. 13 and 14.

Washington Avenue Grill – 15782 Marine Dr., White Rock
Price: 2/5; Service: 3/5; Food: 5/5; Atmosphere: 4/5; Music: 4/5.

The Washington Avenue Grill isn’t a place for inexpensive dishes, but that’s the price you pay for good live music, free parking and no cover charge.

Parking is limited, but once you’ve found a spot, you can walk up the stairs to a candlelit table near the band.

Outside is a Statue of Liberty wearing a Canucks jersey, but this is not a sports bar. There’s talented live entertainment Wednesday to Sunday, and the line-up changes regularly.

The prices are a little steep, but the desserts are worth your money. For the price of the cheapest appetizer (yam fries), you can get homemade tiramisu or New York cheesecake at $7.34 a slice.

Phil Dixon plays guitar on Oct. 25 and Jani Jakovac plays piano on Oct. 28.

Eighteen 27 – 9185 Glover Rd., Fort Langley
Price: 2/5; Service: 5/5; Food: 5/5; Atmosphere: 4/5; Music: 4/5.

If you’d like to spend $7.34 somewhere else, you can get triple chocolate paté at Eighteen 27 in Fort Langley while listening to Kurt Thys, the restaurant’s personal piano man. Thys bears some resemblance to Billy Joel, but counters that with a pair of white Elton John–style glasses, making his piano playing that much more entertaining.

The restaurant’s a bit dark, but it’s supposed to be, for this swanky joint. Expect to spend a bit more for a bit less. The portions are small and the prices are big, but the food is amazing and items such as fondue aren’t readily available elsewhere.

Entree’s go from $12.99 (sirloin burger) to $23.99 (12-ounce steak), but you can’t put a price on quality. Just try to save a nice tip for Thys, which he collects in a brandy glass at the end of the piano.

The Wired Monk – 12219 Beecher St., Crescent Beach
Price: 4/5; Service: 5/5; Food: 2/5; Atmosphere: 4/5; Music: 3/5.

If you enjoy a walk on the beach before seeing live entertainment, try the Wired Monk at Crescent Beach, which has an open-mic night on Wednesdays.

It’s a small coffee shop where an variety of local talent perform easy listening, blues and soft rock. The performances draw some local regulars, so seating is limited, but there are often enough chairs for everybody and parking is free.

The shop has a very organic, earthy feel to it with shades of brown and green on the walls. It’s a comfortable place to sit down and relax with a cup of coffee. For $5.61, you can get a blended coffee (mocha, espresso, etc.) and a cookie. Their coffee is considerably better than their baked goods.

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